John William McGrath of East Hampton and Manhattan, an attorney who was active in politics, died on May 3 in New York. He was 90 and had been injured previously in a fall.
Mr. McGrath served as the chief advance man for Gov. Nelson Rockefeller of New York in two of his presidential campaigns and was active in campaigns including State Attorney General Louis Lefkowitz’s bid for mayor of New York City.
He was a partner at the Lane & Mittendorf law firm. When he retired in 2019 he was of counsel at the Gallagher, Harnett & Lagalante firm.
He and Patricia Ogden McGrath were married on April 30, 1988. Mrs. McGrath survives.
Mr. McGrath was a member of the Devon Yacht Club in Amagansett, the Piping Rock Club in Matinecock Village in Nassau County, the University Club in Manhattan, and Holland Lodge No. 8, also in Manhattan. Along with politics, he was a student of history, a golfer, a gardener, and a baker.
Born on July 25, 1932, in New York City to Hugh A. McGrath and the former Marion Hogan, he grew up in New Rochelle, N.Y. He attended the Canterbury School in New Milford, Conn., before earning a bachelor’s degree from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., in 1954, and then a Juris Doctor degree from New York Law School. He served in the Army as a counterintelligence agent from 1955 to 1957.
In addition to his wife, Mr. McGrath is survived by his son, John Walter McGrath of South Salem, N.Y., and his stepchildren, Alix Ogden of Stonington, Conn., Fred Ogden of Rockleigh, N.J., and Fell Ogden Gray of Brooklyn. Three grandsons and six step-grandchildren also survive, as do a brother, Hugh McGrath of New Orleans, and two sisters, Mary Elizabeth Hutcoe of Mahopac, N.Y., and Julianne McGrath of Norwalk, Conn. A daughter, Paula McGrath-Diouf, died before him.
A service for him was held on Tuesday at the Church of the Heavenly Rest in Manhattan, where Mr. McGrath was a member, the Rev. Cindy Stravers officiating. Burial followed at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, N.Y.
Mr. McGrath’s family has suggested memorial contributions to the Paul Martin McGrath ‘62 Scholarship Fund at the Canterbury School, 101 Aspetuck Avenue, New Milford, Conn. 06776.